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“Road to Fame” Explores China’s Youthful Aspirations and Angst

November 23, 2013
RoadtoFame

Six pairs of eyes follow each single child in China says a teacher at Beijing’s prestigious Central Academy of Drama – parents and two sets of grandparents. That puts a lot of pressure on them to succeed. In an economy undergoing dramatic change and slowing growth, the culture of competition long thought to be an…

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Asia Tensions Reach New Highs

June 11, 2013

Note: Thanks to those who have inquired about the lack of recent commentary. More blog posts are on the way after a few months break. While the blog has been idle there’s been no let up in Asia tension. DPRK’s Basketball Diplomacy North Korea’s rounds…

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Red Lines in the East China Sea

January 23, 2013
Red Lines in the East China Sea

[Short version on CNN GPS] In many parts of the world the long curve of history continues dragging nations back to the brink of war. Take Northeast Asia where recent tensions between China and Japan risk erupting into conflict. The Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, home to rocky…

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The Once and Future Beijing Blues

January 15, 2013
The Once and Future Beijing Blues

Remember the Beijing Olympics of 2008? A world-renowned stadium. An opening ceremony of unparalleled power and vibrancy. Beautiful blue skies. It was a picture-postcard moment. At the time visiting reporters regaled the wonderfully clean air, some even claiming the government could make the skies rain…

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Down but Not Out – Japan’s Economy in Recession

January 3, 2013
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While Europe’s troubles continue making headlines Japan’s economy slipped back into recession in late 2012 with barely a mention. Why the difference? Perhaps the island economy shows no hope of recovery after twenty plus years of stagnation, its quiet fade into economic history a near…

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In-Sourcing the U.S. Middle Class

December 17, 2012
732px-Unemployed_men_queued_outside_a_depression_soup_kitchen_opened_in_Chicago_by_Al_Capone,_02-1931_-_NARA_-_541927

Welcome back American manufacturing. U.S. in-sourcing (global companies bringing jobs back to the U.S. that were previously sent overseas) hit the mainstream news cycle again this month. An in-depth Atlantic article by Charles Fishman on GE’s plans to manufacture  high-end appliances has drawn exceptional attention.…

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North Korea Misfires (Again)

December 12, 2012
KCNA-nk-missile-Dec2012

Playing the same song (I was going to say record) over and over again gets old. And quoting oneself is lazy for a writer, but North Korea’s latest missile launch is so similar, in geopolitical terms, to its 2009 foray into the rocket business that…

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Asia Integration Leaves U.S. Behind

December 10, 2012
YangShanPort

You can’t blame them for trying. U.S. trade negotiators have been at it for years but conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) keeps receding over the horizon. A June deadline was floated and then passed quietly by. The end of 2012 came next (here and…

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China’s Questionable Market Recovery

December 6, 2012
China’s Questionable Market Recovery

Money has to stay fit. It gets soft just lying on the couch, feet up on the coffee table, flipping through reality TV shows.  And this week the money looks like its running back to Asia. The Shanghai composite index jumped 2.87% on Wednesday prompting…

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